Causes of Student Binge Drinking
We've all heard it before: "Too much of anything is bad for us." The amount of binge drinking occurring on American college campuses today proves that college students do not heed this warning. Binge drinking, or drinking for the purpose of getting drunk, harms both drinkers and non-drinkers alike. As today's college students come dangerously close to being swept away in the sea of papers, exams, jobs, and interviews, they use bingeing as the lifeboat that allows them to escape the stress. It allows them to forget their worries, fit in with the crowd, and live on the edge in a fast-paced world that normally does not leave time for such activities. Teetering on the brink of adulthood, yet still trapped
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Most of us realize the effect of peer pressure on students. But where did this idea of drinking until you're sick originate? Why is drinking such a popular pastime at today's universities? Surely today's youth can find another form of entertainment that is a little more legal and healthy. Have their values been so completely annihilated that these students have no moral objections to binge drinking? One might answer that the power of peer pressure overcomes any moral objections. But the unexamined issue that remains is why these students feel the need to succumb to this pressure. Giving in to peers fulfills a psychological need. Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs consists first of physiological needs, second of safety needs, third of social needs, fourth of esteem needs, and fifth of self-actualization needs (Hamilton, 420). Most college students have the first two need levels fulfilled, and move on to the third need level. Naturally, these students must fulfill their social needs before attempting to fulfill their esteem and self-actualization needs, where sticking to their values would fall. Many meet their social needs by doing what others do, in this case, binge drinking. Peer pressure also comes into play when males pressure females to drink in order to make them sexually vulnerable (Addeo, 105).